Shoppers will return. But they’re living through a pandemic that will change them, maybe forever.In the past several weeks, retailers haven’t seen much of their customers.
Retailers and consumers alike remain focused on cutting short the impact of COVID-19, the disease that has swept the globe. At the moment in most locales, when people do venture out it’s only for essential items from the few stores that are open, and these days their faces are often covered. Otherwise, shopping is accomplished online.
The extreme lockdown of today will be eased at some point, though it’s not yet clear when. Perhaps even more uncertain is what the frame of mind of their erstwhile customers will be.
“The questions are, first, how long will the virus actually be here? And then, how long will it be in people’s psyches?” Simeon Siegel, managing director at BMO Capital Markets, told Retail Dive in an interview. “Right now it’s very unclear how long this impact will be — not only because we don’t know the duration of the virus but because there’s a latent fear that’s emerging as well. The longer the impact, the more lingering the fear and the more evolution there will be of consumer processes.”
Changes in Attitude
Most stores in the U.S. are closed now. Those stores that are open are limiting their hours and how many customers go in at a time. While e-commerce has had its own struggles with fulfillment, shopping has definitely shifted online: From March 23 to March 30, e-commerce marketplaces saw a 14% increase in volume, according to data from the Forter Global Merchant Network.
Source: Retail Dive